Home / Sports / 7 Interesting Facts About the Great British Pound You May Not Have Known

7 Interesting Facts About the Great British Pound You May Not Have Known

United Kingdom Marching Band

The Great British pound, or the pound sterling, is the oldest existing currency in the entire world, with its origins going back to continental Europe hundreds of years ago. The currency’s name originates in the Latin word ‘libra’ which translates to weight and balance. The currency has been distributed officially by the Bank of England for over three hundred years, and in this time, the notes have changed significantly. The pound sterling is one of the strongest currencies in the entire world, falling just behind that of the oil-rich Arabian dinars. It is highly valued and traded and used in many Commonwealth nations. This page will seek to offer you seven interesting facts about the Great British pound, that hopefully, you may not have already known.

Here are those seven.


The pound coin did not emerge until the year 1489, under the reign of Henry VII, King of England. The note itself, as referenced in the introduction, had begun circulating in 1694, and was initially a handwritten note, as opposed to a printed one. The pound was a very complicated currency of shillings and pennies, all until the arrival of the famed decimal system in the year 1971. The early coins were minted and mechanized in 1660 to prevent fraudulence and money-clipping with side lettering that is still existent until this very day.


As with all currencies, the Great British pound fluctuates. It, however, unlike its rival currencies, does not fluctuate too much either way and remains consistently strong. It is the number-five most powerful currency in the entire world. You can find more info on currency fluctuation by consulting an exchange website. Exchange rates vary from day-to-day, meaning the currency may strengthen or weaken in a twenty-four-hour period.


The British pound has survived as its independent currency for hundreds of years, while many other contemporary currencies faltered and ceased to be in circulation. The British government resisted attempts made by the European Union to terminate the pound, and for Britain to adopt the euro. These plans did not work, and the pound sterling remains in circulation, retaining its independence. One can only wonder how many more hundreds of years the pound coin will operate. The pound is truly a treasured currency, and one that we must hold onto and value.

Numbers on Monitor

The Pound Scots

The pound Scots was a rival currency that was dissolved in the 1707 Union Act when Scotland and England unified. The Bank of Scotland was created in the year 1695, a year after the Bank of England was created. The Bank of Scotland is still active until this very day and is a subsidiary group of the Lloyds Banking Group, situated in Edinburgh. The pound scot was replaced at a value of twelve to one and was still largely used in Scotland well into the eighteenth century, despite British law and rule.

Giants and Titans

There so exists, in the vaults of the Bank of Scotland and England, notes that are valued at a million pounds each. There also exists a hundred thousand-pound notes. These notes are, unsurprisingly, not for ordinary people, and are used for huge purchases, and as guarantees for notes issued in pound sterling. These notes have long been the source of urban legend and myth, and it was only in the last thirty years that they were confirmed to exist. There exist similar myths about many other currencies all around the world, and the likelihood is that they are not simply myths, but facts. These notes have been given the moniker of Giants and Titans.

Nazi Forgeries

As the British pound is one of and has long been one of, the most powerful currencies in the world, it is no surprise forgeries should exist. During the Second World War, the Nazi Party produced huge numbers of counterfeit British notes to devalue the currency and destabilize British society. By the war’s conclusion in nineteen forty-five, up to twelve percent of notes in circulation when German counterfeits. Britain responded to this huge threat to their currency by taking higher value notes out of circulation and threading metal through the notes they produced. These metal threads can still be found in British currency up until this very day.


The currency has borne the image of the ruling monarch for at least a thousand years and this was so that the British citizens could see what the monarch looked like long before photography.

Now you know a few interesting facts that you may not have previously known about the Great British pound. A truly amazing, interesting, and powerful currency.